Pan Grilled Sea bass over Acorn Squash Puree Pan Grilled Sea bass over Acorn Squash Puree

PAIR WITH: 2012 Dierberg Chardonnay SMV

The nutty richness of the dish pulls an elegant sweetness from this crisp Chardonnay. Toasted notes in the wine are enhanced by the subtle hazelnut and lemon. Enjoy this playful and delicious pairing!

Pan Grilled Sea bass over Acorn Squash Puree with Hazelnut-Lemon Brown Butter and Micro Garden Salad



  • Sea bass- 1/2lb portion per person
  • Canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Hazelnuts chopped
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/2 stick of Butter plus 2tbsp
  • 1 small Acorn Squash
  • Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Clippings of baby greens, veggies, and edible flowers from my garden!
  • What’s growing in yours?


  • White balsamic
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Thyme chopped
  • salt and pepper


Begin by Preheating your oven to 350.


Cut your small acorn squash lengthwise. Rub cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down in a small oven safe dish covered for roughly 20-30 mins. This time will vary depending on the size of the squash- check doneness with a fork after about 15 minutes and continue roasting accordingly. Once squash is done, set aside to cool uncovered. Once cooled, carefully slice a 1/2″ ring per person of squash and reserve for salad. Spoon the remaining squash into a small sauce pan over low heat. Add 2tbsp butter and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm stirring occasionally.


Meanwhile, prepare your fish. Rinse filets and pat dry then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy bottomed pan at med-high heat. Drizzle pan with canola oil to coat the bottom completely. To achieve a crispy skin and no sticking, make sure your pan is hot hot hot. Test readiness by flicking a drop of water into the pan and listen for a prominent sizzle. Place filets skin side down to begin, do not touch them until you are ready to flip them over, about 6 minutes. Carefully flip your filets. After about 3 minutes add 1/2 stick of butter to your fish pan. Add hazelnuts and stir as butter begins to brown, this happens quickly, about 1 minute. Finish with 1/2 a lemon squeezed, stir around filets. Remove from heat. Spoon a smear of squash puree onto each plate and top with a beautiful filet carefully removed from pan. Drizzle your brown butter over the fish and around the plate. I garnished with a slice of lemon and a chive flower from my garden, but that is up to you.


My salad was comprised of baby greens, flowers and baby veggies from my own garden, specifically micro arugula and arugula flowers, chives and chive flowers, baby carrot, baby broccoli, nettle, micro celery, baby grape tomatoes, nasturtiums and mustard flowers. As long as it is colorful and fresh it’s a win. I simply inserted each micro green into the reserved ring of squash and drizzled with the vinaigrette.

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Poached Farm Egg Spring Vegetable Risotto with Poached Farm Egg



As we head into the transition between spring and summer, the plethora of options at the local Farmers Market make for colorful, flavorful meals.

This pairing was so much fun and oh so tasty. The lingering flavor of the fennel boosts the Chardonnay, bringing out beautiful notes of honey and yellow apple. The luxurious texture of the egg saturating the rice brings no need for cream in this risotto. Smooth and seasonal, a dish for any occasion.



  • 1 1/2 c. Arborio Rice
  • 1tbsp butter
  • Olive oil
  • 1 c Dierberg Drum Canyon Chardonnay
  • 4 c chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1 c fresh grated Parmesan
  • Farm eggs (1 per serving)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped carrot
  • 1/2 c sliced fennel bulb
  • 1/2 c spinach (torn)
  • 1/4 c peas (shelled)
  • 1/4 c sliced leek (white and light green only)
  • Edible spring flowers for garnish such as nasturtium, pansy, or arugula flow


Begin with at least 4 or 5 spring vegetables. I grabbed fresh spinach, peas, fennel bulb, leeks and a assortment of colorful carrots. Wash and chop veggies, set aside.

Heat chicken stock in small pot and reserve on low heat.

Heat a heavy bottomed pan to med-high heat. Add 1 tbsp butter and a drizzle of olive oil to pan. Once butter has melted add 1 1/2 c. dry arborio rice. Toss until rice is well coated and slightly toasted. Reduce heat to med. Add garlic and leeks. Sautée until fregrant, about 2 mins. Add 1/2 c wine and stir until absorbed. Add chicken stock 1 c at a time, waiting until liquid has been absorbed before adding the next, stirring intermittently.

Meanwhile in a separate pot, prepare poaching liquid by adding 1 tbsp white vinegar to boiling water.

Add carrot and fennel to risotto, sautee another 5 mins. Add remaining 1/2 c wine and stir until absorbed. Lastly, add shelled peas and torn spinach, toss and cover. Remove from heat.

Stir boiling poaching liquid with a spoon to create a whirlpool before cracking your farm egg into pot. The vinegar and spiral motion of the water will help keep the shape of your poached egg. Let poach for 2 mins.

Meanwhile uncover risotto and toss parmesan. Peas and spinach should be steamed but not overcooked.

Spoon out a mound of risotto to plate and top with poached egg using a slotted spoon. Garnish with edible flowers, extra parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with a glass of 2013 Drum Canyon Chardonnay!


Harvest Update – 9/11/14 Harvest Update – 9/11/14


Hi All,

Today’s 5 day forecast: HOT!

This is the kind of forecast we have been hedging against all season, and this is what we thought an early harvest may bring. It is not just that it is hot, but that it is hot in early September versus early October. What that means is longer days, higher sun angles, and heat for a longer period of time. And what that provides is greater dehydration pressure for the same high temperature.

Thankfully we have no Pinot or Chardonnay left to worry about. The Syrah is off, and several core Cabernet lots were brought in with healthy ripeness over the last several days. With a few exceptions what remains are blocks of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon that are at a point of their ripening trajectory where this heat is less likely to do much harm. The exceptions are being harvest today, tomorrow, and Saturday. We moved our favorite Merlot block from the top of the vineyard (block 26C) forward in the schedule to bring it in Saturday. Tomorrow we process Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc.

As noted in the last email we believed the second round of Pinot picks would bring more power and concentration. This is proving to be true and provides us a nice set of components to work with. The Cabernet aromas continue to intoxicate the cellar with beautiful blackberry, cassis, sage, and crushed rock.

At this stage nearly all the Drum Canyon Pinot Noir has been put to barrel save 5 small fermenters, much of the Santa Maria Pinot will be put to barrel by week’s end. All the Chardonnay’s are finished with primary fermentation and we are evaluating which ought to go into secondary (ML) and which ought to be sulfured. Early next week we will have finished wines including Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Rose and Pinot noir! I must note the Rose is killer!

It is easy to feel very satisfied with how things have flowed, particularly because of the heat that is coming. However it is premature to declare victory as we must employ patience and observe what truly emerges from vintage. Prettiness in Pinot, precision in Chardonnay, depth and supple Bordelaise? We seem headed in that direction.

I have attached a photo I took yesterday of some Cabernet set to be harvested Saturday. That cluster is about the size of my hand, maybe smaller. Beautiful.

Here is the harvest info since the last time point. We are up to over 550 tons total thus far for ourselves and over 900 tons including clients.

One final note. I am going to be very disappointed if the Cardinals do not make the playoffs in a vintage where I will likely be able to watch all the games live! A first for me! It is looking more and more likely we may be finished before Oct. 1st.